Plymouth-Santander Ferry , Avoid being loaded on the bottom deck?

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wheelbothends
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Plymouth-Santander Ferry , Avoid being loaded on the bottom deck?

Post by wheelbothends » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:33 pm

Brittany Ferries Plymouth Santander.
Looking forward to an autumnal run down through Spain in a few days, but I suddenly recall the last time we went - having turned up in a timely fashion we were loaded into the very bowels of the ship, right up against the bulkhead with nowhere to go but turn around and wait until everything else was driven out in front of us, a pretty crap arrangement.
Don't mind so much being nearly last off, not in a hellish rush - but could do without nearly being killed in the lower reaches by suffocating on the lorry fumes!
Noticed that some clued up folks with bikes hung back on the jetty and didn't seem to much in a hurry to load.
Were they loaded on the top deck just before departure and therefore on arrival,quickly off and down the road whilst the old girl and me were forced to sample the delightful exhausts of Mssrs Volvo and DAF?
If anyone knows the best approach to this trip do tell, I like to keep my long suffering passenger on an even keel!!
Rob.

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Re: Plymouth-Santander Ferry , Avoid being loaded on the bottom deck?

Post by 92kk k100lt 193214 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:45 pm

Not sure if you are on the Pont Aven for that trip.

If you are the upper deck ramp is raised when the ship is full so vehicles can be parked on and under it. For exit the ramp can then only be lowered after they clear the main deck under it but that's sometimes reasonably quick. Same with lower deck, at the very least it will be blocked off by vehicles sparked on the main deck.

At this time of year you want if possible to be near the centre of the ship instead of out at the ends to reduce the extent of movement on the bike if its anyway stormy and middle of the ship in between the stairs areas if you get it is a good place.

I get laughed at by those who insist on being up near the front of the line...hanging back until the upper and lower decks are closed off usually pays off for speedy exit.

For others reading this thread.....A bigger thing to watch out for is slippery deck especially as in slippery on the ramps. Tyres may grip ok but boots may not!
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Re: Plymouth-Santander Ferry , Avoid being loaded on the bottom deck?

Post by john-g » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:29 pm

I second that about wet Deck and Ramps, had the same issue on a very wet crossing from Caen back to Portsmouth in June with a fully loaded Kawasaki GTR1400.

Told Brittany Ferries of the problem in their post-journey survey - so far no response.

Trouble being that there is no anti-slip coating, just smooth and wet sheet steel.

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Re: Plymouth-Santander Ferry , Avoid being loaded on the bottom deck?

Post by 92kk k100lt 193214 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:02 pm

The Brittany Ferries is particularly bad because it's always nice fresh paint!!
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Re: Plymouth-Santander Ferry , Avoid being loaded on the bottom deck?

Post by frenchy3 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:33 am

My main concern with the Pont Aven is the crew tying down a light bike with a 3" car/lorry ratchet strap,my seat and friends have been wrecked by over zealous use of the straps)even with the foam pad on) I have offered to do it myself but they do not listen.

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Re: Plymouth-Santander Ferry , Avoid being loaded on the bottom deck?

Post by -Ralph- » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:30 am

Car and truck drivers jump in, click a seat belt, and turn a key.

Bikers have to get all the clobber back on, refit luggage, helmets, gloves, switch on the sat nav, un ratchet the bike, get the passport to hand. Everything has to be done before we can move off, we aren't sitting in a box where we can sort ourselves out whilst moving.

That's why we get off last.
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Re: Plymouth-Santander Ferry , Avoid being loaded on the bottom deck?

Post by snaf » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:37 am

If you're going to be last off don't go to your deck until called. You can hang around looking over the loading ramp and see what's going on, the lower deck can't start to unload until the higher ones are clear.

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Re: Plymouth-Santander Ferry , Avoid being loaded on the bottom deck?

Post by ollydog » Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:07 am

i just ask for some id or a name for suing later, they usually listen when there is a possibility of direct comeback or take a nice pic of the tieing down.

for the same reason me n jan are usually last off to reduce the cancer risk.

steve

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Re: Plymouth-Santander Ferry , Avoid being loaded on the bottom deck?

Post by 92kk k100lt 193214 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:53 am

frenchy3 wrote:My main concern with the Pont Aven is the crew tying down a light bike with a 3" car/lorry ratchet strap,my seat and friends have been wrecked by over zealous use of the straps)even with the foam pad on) I have offered to do it myself but they do not listen.
I had an issue on this subject and they are indeed quite brutal. I have come across quite a few instances of broken side stands and broken seats but they do seem to pay up for the damage.

I have a preference for Irish Ferries here for the reason they will let you tie your bike down [they have loads of straps, carpet protectors, chocks etc], you can even use your own straps which I do and then come check it. I have always used main or centre stand because if you tie the bike a certain way as in both sides pulled down with straps actually attached to the bike it will stay upright if there's a problem. If it's ratcheted hard down to the left on side stand and it breaks under their excess loading it will go over, everything goes slack and it will slide around the deck.

If you are going on ferries its really worth working out how you would tie the bike down with straps actually attached to the frame rather than simply over the seat. Do this whether you are on main or side stand, you then don't need a huge pressure on the side stand to keep everything in place. Even taking a seat off and attaching to frame tubes and really makes a difference and it may be the only way to do it. A small strap on the front brake to keep it on, a taut strap from the stand to front wheel to make sure it can't bounce/roll forward off the stand, left in gear, high up weight like panniers taken off [I leave mine beside the bike tied on with a wire type bicycle lock that's also used for tying helmet on when I am out and about].

After my last experience on Brittany Ferries I decided next time the side stand will not be operational.
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1984 K100RT since July 2013 36,000 miles now going on 90,000 miles.
1997 K1100LT SE since Oct 2017 59,000 miles now 103,500 miles
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Re: Plymouth-Santander Ferry , Avoid being loaded on the bottom deck?

Post by Alan29 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:49 am

Presumably if your bike has crash bars you could use the one on the left for the strap and avoid going over the seat.

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